Cohn & Wolfe acquires stake in Middle Eastern firm

DUBAI: Cohn & Wolfe has acquired a stake in Middle East agency BPG | pr as it looks to expand its reach in the region.

DUBAI: Cohn & Wolfe has acquired a minority stake in Middle East agency BPG | pr as it looks to expand its reach in the region.

The WPP Group firm bought a 40% stake in BPG | pr, which will be renamed BPG | Cohn & Wolfe. The transaction will allow Cohn & Wolfe to broaden its services in the Middle East and North Africa, while BPG clients will gain access to Cohn & Wolfe's international network.

BPG CEO Nitin Puri and MD Kevin Hasler will continue to lead the agency. The firm will add staff and leadership in the region based on client needs, said Cohn & Wolfe CEO Donna Imperato.  

Headquartered in Dubai, BPG has additional offices in Abu Dhabi, Baghdad, Doha, Jeddah, and Kuwait, as well as affiliates in Cairo and Muscat. Its staff of 34 professionals works with brands including Rolls Royce, Visa International, Omega, Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment, and Masafi Mineral Water.

Cohn & Wolfe has been active in the Middle East for a number of years through work with WPP affiliates, Imperato said.

“While we have a lot of experience in the region, this move gives us the opportunity to deepen our offering for clients and expand our presence into new markets,” she added.

“[The partnership] will enable us to share best global practices and bring new concepts to our clients in the region, while offering our local as well as regional clients a global network,” BPG Group CEO Avi Bhojani said in a statement.

The BPG acquisition is Cohn & Wolfe's latest step in global expansion. Last year, the firm named Charlotte Chunawala CEO of its India operations after launching offices there.  In 2011, Cohn & Wolfe acquired Impactasia, an independent agency with offices throughout China, as well as Singapore-based XPR.

Cohn & Wolfe has more than 1,100 employees globally in more than 50 offices across North America, the EMEA region, and Asia.

This story was updated on May 15 with quotes from Cohn & Wolfe CEO Donna Imperato.

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